3 Jan 2019 by Albert Khor –
It was a joyous occasion at the Bethesda House in Rawang as they were blessed with a donation from Malaysian Corrugated Carton Manufacturers’ Association (MACCMA) on Saturday, 22nd December, 2018. The ordinary double-storey house in Bandar Country Homes came alive as MACCMA was not only generous with the monetary amount but their key committee members even attended the cheque presentation session in person with their families to visit the home which provides care for troubled children from dysfunctional families. It was the first donation by the association which represents more than 100 business owners in Malaysia’s corrugating industry.
The visitors were given a short tour of the home by Sis. Rosline D. Thomas, the Home Director before the Honorary Chairman of MACCMA, Mr. Henry Low delivered an opening address. Then, ten neatly-dressed children from the home belted out Mary’s Boy Child and We Wish You a Merry Christmas to entertain the guests before the highlight of the day – presentation of a cheque of RM18,000 from Mr. Henry Low to Rev. Dr. Samuel Kurian Thomas, the Chairman of the home. The guests were then treated to a simple yet satisfying lunch prepared by the home while the children were being entertained with Bible teaching from a volunteer.
The home has been operating for ten years and it is currently home to 20 children aged 3 to 18. Indeed, God has blessed the home tremendously. According to Rev. Samuel, the children are supported until they leave the home for college or vocational schools and they always have enough to give good quality food and supplies to the children. In fact, the home would be soon expanded to include two more houses opposite it so that boys and girls can be segregated. Rev. Samuel is also the General Overseer of The Apostolic Faith Church and his work has spanned over 30 years in children ministry. He has been and is still working with underprivileged families and children in Klang Valley. In fact, later that afternoon, he would be visiting some families in Ara Damansara.
“Over here, we give them education and character-building. The children must have a future through education – or they will go back (to poverty and bad company),” says Rev. Samuel. This is especially true for children in troubled families – or “high-risk” kids as Rev. Samuel would put it – as they could be coerced into vice if left unattended. Malaysia has been truly blessed economically in various ways. However, a portion of the society does not share that wealth but resides in squalid conditions due to the general society’s neglect. Many children whose parents are foreigners are also unable to secure education in public schools. Homes like Bethesda House stood in the gap to support them to be useful members of the society. Some of the children in Rev. Samuel’s ministry have since graduated and set up families of their own. A few of them were also helping out at Bethesda House on that day.
Noble efforts like this would have been difficult without support from the public. MACCMA’s donation was timely as expenses were usually high at the end of the year because the children would need fresh school supplies. Honorary Treasurer of MACCMA, Mr. Tony Loganathan explained that in recent years, the committee has agreed to utilise the surplus funds from the association to bless charities. “We were amazed – when we announced this initiative, members were very supportive and just came forward to contribute,” he shared. The association is currently also supporting about 6 other organisations. However, how did they get involved in supporting Bethesda House? Ps. Jack Piong (a volunteer at the home) has a brother Gary Piong who is a committee member of MACCMA. Through this initial connection, the committee then collectively agreed to support the home. Overall, it was indeed heartening to see that an industry association would go beyond their businesses to contribute and make a difference in the society.
The whole event on Saturday lasted for only an hour but invaluable time spent between the MACCMA committee members and the children as well as their generosity would make a lasting impact on the lives of the children in Bethesda House. But would it be just a one-off initiative? “I think it might be a continuous effort,” Mr. Low expressed in his opening address to the smiles, cheers and claps from the audience. His view was also echoed by his fellow committee members who were impressed with the condition and administration of the home.
As Rev. Samuel shared, although we, the people of the world, are of various faith, there is a universal ‘religion’ called kindness. Everyone is capable of showing and should always show kindness to everyone. Kindness is also a virtue which is exhorted in the Bible by Jesus himself. We may not be able to serve in this ministry full-time like Rev. Samuel but our prayers, donations and time spent with the workers and children will certainly help to encourage them.
If anyone wishes to be in touch with Bethesda House, you may contact Sis. Rosline at 019-9280095. May the Lord continue to watch over and bless Bethesda House, its faithful workers and more importantly, the children.
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